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How to measure for dovetail drawers

Bespoke Dovetail Drawers

Probox offers bespoke dovetail drawers to suit your project. Before you order them you need to measure up your unit and work out what size you need.

Many of our customers ring us up with a list of measurements or order online, but if you are new to dovetail drawers it’s important to make sure you have the right measurements when you place your order. Customers are welcome to ring us and discuss your project if you have any questions at all.


The details we need when you place your order;

Drawer width or internal carcass width

Drawer height and depth

The timber required

Runner type and length ( see our range of runners)

Any special features like handle cut outs, shaped sides, unlacquered, traditional dovetails

Tips for measuring up your drawers

Work out if your is drawer in-frame or lay on

Allow space for your runners

Follow this Probox pdf that shows instructions with diagrams for measuring up your drawers

Click here to order online


Dovetail Drawers VS Standard

oak standard notched dovetail drawers






What is a dovetail drawer? 

Dovetail drawers are typically solid wood drawers with a dovetail joint on each corner.

What are the advantages of a dovetail drawer?

Customers that are building bespoke kitchens or furniture often opt for dovetail drawers, this is for many reasons, here are a few;

  • A dovetail joint is very strong and will outperform most other joint options, including dowel joints or a biscuit joint. 
  • A dovetail joint in a drawer for many years has been known as a sign of a high level of craftsmanship and it has become a specified requirement for many kitchen manufactures when they build a bespoke kitchen. 
  • The dovetail drawers at Probox are made from select solid timber and they are built to last, the build quality is designed to match that of a high end bespoke kitchen or furniture piece. 

What is a dovetail joint? 

A dovetail joint is a joint that holds together the sides of the drawer. It has interlocking tails on one side and pins on the other. When they are fitted together and hot glued they create a high tensile strength, this means the joint is very hard to pull apart. 

Standard drawers 

Standard drawers are often cheaper to make, but the build quality is not as good. Drawers with dowel joints are often used for flat pack furniture or bedroom furniture. Drawers with dowel joints haven’t the same strength and durability as drawers with dovetail joints and do not demonstrate the same craftsmanship or possess the same quality. 


5 Reasons to Order Probox Drawers Online

Probox Website in Mobile

1# Order bespoke drawers using our easy to use order form with size guide, then receive your quote via email within 24 hours, we always aim to get quotes back over quickly. Place your order online day or night.

2# If you need Classic Swift dovetail drawers our off the shelf service, simply choose your sizes online, place your order and receive the drawers in 3 days.

3# Add runners to your order, choose from our quality soft close range, with brands like Blum, Hettich or Grass.

4# Order other items like spice racks or cutlery inserts either bespoke made or off the shelf.

5# Read our blog section for interesting info, including a glossary of drawer terms and 10 top questions answered.

Order bespoke dovetail drawers 

Order standard sized Classic Swift drawers 


New Product: Classic Swift Oak Cutlery Insert

Classic Swift Oak Cutlery Insert


Our customers find the Classic Swift dovetail drawer range to be very convenient when they require standard sized, quality oak drawers delivered from stock. We have now further developed this service to also offer a Classic Swift cutlery insert.

The Classic Swift cutlery insert is made from solid oak timber and is available to work with lay-on or in-frame drawers.

Probox stocks a solid oak cutlery insert that suits lay-on drawers is 621(w) x 412(d) x 60(h) and a solid oak cutlery insert that suits in-frame drawers is 585(w) x 412(d) x 60(h).

Daniel Wells, Sales Director at Probox, commented “These versatile inserts allow you to adapt the insert by cutting it to shorten it to fit the drawer perfectly, or removing the horns on one or both ends”.

The Classic Swift cutlery insert is now being added to Classic Swift dovetail drawer orders by kitchen designers that are working on fast turnaround projects or designers that are happy to work with set sizes so that they can enjoy a cost saving and a quicker turnaround. 

As per the picture, the Classic Swift cutlery insert has three vertical cutlery areas and one horizontal utensil area. 

The Classic Swift cutlery insert is available to buy online or you can call 01280 825776 to speak to our sales team.  Orders have a 1-2 day turnaround time. 

We also offer a bespoke made solid timber cutlery tray in a range of finishes, for more information click here 



New Product : Classic Swift Oak Spice Rack

After the success of our Classic Swift dovetail drawer solutions (solid oak drawers in a wide range of sizes that are ordered from stock and delivered within 1-2 days), Probox now also offers a Classic Swift Oak Spices Rack that’s available to order from stock.

Classic Swift Oak Spice Rack

The Classic Swift Oak Spice Rack is made from quality solid oak timber rack and available in size 900(h)  x 400(w) x 100(d). 

The new spice rack is made offering the same quality as our bespoke spice racks, but this stock item is only available in solid oak and in one size. 

Spice racks offer a useful storage option, allowing for items such as bottles of spices and other items to be stacked in a neat, easily accessible way. 

Daniel Wells, Sales Director at Probox, commented “Some of our customers require a bespoke made spice rack, but we have also had requests for a fast turnaround option that we supply from stock, so now we offer spice racks from stock that are made to the same quality as bespoke”. 

The Classic Swift Oak Spices Rack is available to order online, with a delivery date of 1-2 days 

Order online or call  01280 825776 to talk to our sales team. 

Bespoke spice racks are also available in a range of solid timbers, for more information click here 


Probox glossary of terms

Pan drawer

A pan drawer is a high kitchen drawer that’s designed to carry cooking pans.

Flush top

When the sides, front and back of the drawer are all the same height.

Stepped top

The sides are 2mm smaller than the front and the back of the drawer.


A drawer that’s designed for a unit that has a frame (Our standard classic swift will suit a 36mm frame) Packers/spacers required

Inframe Drawers Design

Lay on

Drawer to suit a standard carcase shape. (Our standard classic swift will suit a standard 18mm unit)

Drawer standard carcase shape

Internal drawers

Drawers with no additional drawer front being applied, internal drawers often have a curved handle.

Standard Dovetail

The pins and tails in the dovetail are the same size.

Traditional Dovetail

Dovetails with large pins and small tails.

Dovetails with large pins and small tails

Drawer runners

Metal undermount runners attach to the carcass and the drawer and allow the drawer to open and close. Many brands are available, with functions such as soft close or push to open.

Opening size

The carcass opening width/height


How many pieces of timber that make up the height of the drawer.

Full Stave

The sides of the drawer are made from a single piece of solid timber.

Notching and drilling

The preparation needed on the drawer to fit undermount runners. Probox can offer drawers with notching and drilling included, please ask for this when you place your order. Probox notches and drill to suit each type of runner, so be sure to choose your runner before the notching and drilling so the notches and drill holes are in the right places for your drawer runners.

Handle cut out

Handle cut out, also known as a bow cut out, this is a half moon shaped cut out in the centre of the front of the box.

15mm drop front

15mm is added to the bottom of the front of the drawer, this conceals the undermount runners from view.

Shaped Sides

When the front of the drawer is half the height of the back, with a gradual slope on each side.

Sink drawer or U shaped drawer

A drawer made in the shape of a U to allow for sinks and pipes. The size of this drawer is bespoke to the sink size scenario.

Cutlery tray

The cutlery tray has a base, dividers and all 4 sides. Bespoke made to fit your drawer, each corner is made with a dovetail joint.

Cutlery insert

The cutlery insert has a base, dividers and no sides, bespoke made to fit inside the drawer.

Serving tray

The serving tray or butler tray is a bespoke tray with 2 or 4 handles.

Spice rack

The spice rack, also known as a larder door rack with 3, 4 or 5 shelves or to drawing . Each rack comes with rear metal keyhole mounting plate fixings to attach it to the door.


Drawers are all lacquered with a 10% sheen protective coating, increasing durability and product protection.


Dovetail drawer unfinished without any coating. Customers ask for unfinished if they want to paint the boxes or use their own finish.


Probox kitchen design trends 2019

Dark coloured units

Searches for black and navy kitchens have been up 93% in the past 6 months according to Living Etc magazine. Blue, particularly navy has replaced grey as the go to on trend colour.

kitchens Trending Color Grey Online Uk







Concrete surfaces, industrial exposed lighting and warehouse style designs. Customers often pair Probox Birch Ply Dovetail Drawers for this style of kitchen. The birch ply drawers offer fantastic build quality and work well with minimal or industrial designs.

Modern Kitchen in Loft nterior (3d illustration)

Bright colours

Shaker style doors, cabinets and splashbacks are continuing to be produced in bright colours, making kitchens that suit each client’s colour preference. Bright pink, yellow, red, green and turquoise are popular options.

Scandinavian classic kitchen with wooden and turquoise details, minimalistic interior designScandinavian classic kitchen with wooden and gray details, minimalistic interior designScandinavian classic kitchen with wooden and brown details, minimalistic interior design


Combining wood, metal and stone for a contemporary design, with traditional aspects. Brushed brass handles and brass taps add warmth to kitchen designs or just going back to basics with exposed raw materials such as wood and stone, with neutral colours.

classic kitchen with wooden and turquoise drawers






The farmhouse kitchen

The farmhouse kitchen continues to be very popular especially in cottages and heritage homes. This classic design style can also appear with non-traditional coloured units, mixing classic design with on trend colours and appliances.

Every farmhouse kitchen should have solid timber dovetail drawers with soft close runners, these hand crafted kitchens are about build quality and this extends to every aspect, including the cabinets, doors and drawers. Probox solid oak dovetail drawers are the most popular.

solid timber dovetail drawers with soft close runners






Digital technology

Smart appliances such as fridges, washing machines and espresso makers that are controlled through apps.


Pre-Christmas Delivery – Order Now!

Christmas holiday -7th of Dec for delivery early in the New Year






We are approaching the Christmas holidays. For delivery before Christmas please be sure to place your order by the end of w/c 3rd Dec. Limited slots available. Get ahead of the game for January by booking in your drawers in after the 7th of Dec for delivery early in the New Year.

December Holiday Dates

We will be closed from Friday the 21st of December and will re-open on Wednesday the 2nd of January


Runners – 5 Top Questions Answered

Blum Tandem Online UK






Runners – 5 Top Questions Answered

1# Are Probox Runners competitively priced?

We buy drawer runners across various brands in bulk to cater for our customer orders, allowing us to provide competitively priced runners that are conveniently delivered with drawer box orders.

Ask for a quote for runners with your next drawer box order to see our prices or view on our website.

2# How do the different types of runners effect the drawer box width?

Probox provides a variety of high quality undermount runners, which all require the same calculation.

13mm drawer material = 16mm from carcase opening

15mm drawer material = 12mm from carcase opening

3# Do you offer push to open runners?

Yes, we offer Blum Tandem and Grass Dynapro drawer runners, with all the attachments required to make them push to open runners.

4# Do you offer bulk discounts?

On the Probox website some runner brands have discounts available for bulk orders of 5 pairs or 10 pairs depending on the brand.

If you need a bulk order of runners ask us about discounts when getting your order quoted.

5# Which runners are the easiest to fit?

All the runners are straight forward, but some people find Blum and and Grass runners easy because there are so many videos online showing people how to fit them.

Blum also offers an APP for easy assembly.

Get the APP here

Blum App Online UK

Online Blum App

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